This Post was Originally posted at Dutiee.com in early September 2011 here.
The Milan Fashion Week 2011 which concludes today was filled with top designers showcasing their 2012 collections. Terre di Mezzo, a publishing company that also does events, thought it would be the perfect time to hold their second annual, ‘So Critical So Fashion’, 3 days event which showcased 39 designers that are ethical, independent and green. The event provided an opportunity for consumers to see a showcase of socially responsible fashion projects that bring sustainability in the long-lasting tradition of fashion, together with aesthetics, quality, innovation, and trends, as Anne Nenna the event organizer for Terre di Mezzo had hoped. Fashion does not have to be less trendy when it is ethical, and the goal of this event is to provide options for great designers to showcase high fashion that is ethical and environmentally responsible in its production.
This year the event had more than double the amount of designers from last year, and contrary to the fear of the event creators, people were supportive of the inclusion of this event during Milan Fashion week. The So Critical So Fashion event had a varied group of designers, selling items from handbags, bikinis, lego pins, to high class fashion wear and fall sweaters made from high-quality reused fabric from the fashion industry. It also attracted many business people and entrepreneurs wishing to find ways to promote social good ideas.
I met a few designers and got a chance to talk to Maria who works for Alessandro Acerra, the designer of Hibu, a boutique that makes custom shirts available for their customers that are truly unique. She was also wearing a shirt with a chicken that made a sound when you pushed on the body!
You can find the list of all the designers on the critical fashion site. Below is a list of some of the designers that I was lucky enough to connect with while at the event:
1D3A5: What happens to advertising banners when they are no more up? Well, designers at Ideas have creative ways to make them into bags, and even book bindings, and more so, they are open to give you an opportunity to do what you wish to design your own item and use your own “ideas.”
Quitandmove: Luis Chaylian, a Mexican designer, showcased colorful men’s briefs and clothing that was also eco-friendly.
Fempaglia: Two sisters, Francesa and Margherita Paglia that use high quality material to create high fashion couture for women.
Ecologina: Accessories and knitwear with detail around the edges to create a distinct and unique look.
Forme: Beautiful fun bags that truly possess different forms!
Campeche: Who says ties can’t be eco-friendly? Designer Marco Clerici is attracting men who are looking to buy more ethical clothes.
Di Romeo: Vegan, eco-friendly shoes that are from materials that are alternative to animal skin. Not only are the shoes fashionable, and eco-friendly, they are all very unique.
Na’at: Cool, classy, and urban friendly wear that one could see women wear on the streets of Milan, New York or San Francisco. Designer Samanthakhan Tihsler connected with her friend designer, Sostantivo Maschile, to share the space; Sostantivo is a showcase of cool outer and inner wear for men.
Individuals: They showcased bikinis made from recycled products.
Veg Hip Fashion: The folks at Veghipfashion made fun bags that you could see yourself using clubbing or just out to the market. “Vegan” bags came in hip colors for the seasons such as gold, silver, and bright fabric too.
Artisani: Although they make bags and all sorts of things, these folks had some really cool rings that were truly unique.
Nicolo Borghi of Hub Milan hopes to create more opportunities for eco-fashion designers to work from their co-working social good related work space. Hub Milan is part of the Hub Network that provides co-working space for social entrepreneurs to connect and build solutions for a better world.
For more information, visit the event website
The author of this article, Naureen Nayyar is currently traveling and writing for Dutiee about all things social innovation in Europe. You can reach her via Twitter